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When it comes to any holiday or birthday, I am always a big fan of giving a gift basket full of little things my loved one would enjoy. Gift baskets are a great way to gift items that are personable and useful. A way to take your gift basket to the next level is to have a theme to the items inside. For example, a car essential themed gift basket may include car freshener, a gas card, a snow scraper etc. Also when it comes to crafting the basket itself, the dollar store offers decorative boxes that can be used to store the base of the items. 


I’m a big fan of giving useful gifts, but I also try to throw in something super meaningful, too. I know that people often don’t need or want more things in their lives, so I try to stay away from the whole ‘going to Target and grabbing whatever catches my eye’ thing. I make an effort to remember things that I hear my loved ones wishing for or needing. While the person you’re giving the gift to will surely appreciate being given something purposeful, socks and phone chargers aren’t necessarily exciting to open on Christmas morning. I try to add excitement by also giving something small and meaningful or sentimental. Some examples are a framed photo, a handwritten letter, a DIY or dessert you made just for them, a personalized label for a candle or wine bottle (you can make your own or buy them on Etsy), a book you know they’ll love, their favorite perfume, or even a ‘coupon’ for a lunch date at their favorite place. You can’t go wrong with the combination of something useful and something cute or thoughtful!


I’ve been really into getting stuff off Etsy recently. It’s usually cheaper than buying something generic from Walmart or Target, along with being better quality and supporting a small business instead of an evil corporation. I also find it’s so much more customizable, for example, I bought for a friend who liked playing music a bronze guitar keychain with a little initial for her first name. It was super cute and personal and came in a little blue mesh pouch to protect it. She nearly cried because she liked it so much. I think stuff like that really bonds people. However, if you don’t know the person that well, I try to think of something they might need, just like Kailey does. If all else fails, I make a personalized card and literally draw my own watercolors. 


I’m a big advocate for supporting local artists and buying from small businesses for gifts. Like Shannon said, I love using Etsy for gifts. They have so many options and I love supporting small artists. A lot of the time I also paint things for people. I love painting and it’s something I’m very passionate about, so I love making paintings for people of the things they love. I try to listen to the things people like throughout the year to make it easier on myself when I actually shop for gifts. I always put so much pressure on myself to get the perfect gift for people, so it’s nice to put the effort into something and see their reactions. 


I love giving gifts! Finding the perfect gift for someone and seeing their face light up when they open it is a great feeling. Just as Kailey said, I make a conscious effort to pay attention to what my friends and family mention they want or need throughout the year. When it gets especially close to the holidays, I pay extra close attention to the small comments my loved ones make, like wanting a new game coming out or needing new pillows. I’ve found that this is also the easiest way to come up with gift ideas if you’re feeling stuck! Both Shannon and Jordyn mentioned Etsy, which is a great place to search for gifts once you know what to look for. Supporting small businesses during the holidays is important, but even more so now with the current pandemic still going on. Gift giving is an easy way to support these businesses, whether through Etsy or their sites directly, while also giving your loved ones gifts they’ll actually love and appreciate! As Kailey mentioned, if you are giving a more practical gift, it’s nice to include something sentimental. Often instead of Christmas cards I will include a short poem with the presents I give, just to show my loved ones how much they mean to me, which gives the gifts a nice personal touch too.

Ajsa Mehmedovic is a junior at SUNY Oswego studying psychology and public relations. Ajsa enjoys conveying meaningful messages online and believes that social media has the power to bring people together. She would like to meld her psychology background and her passion for public relations by offering her understanding of people in a way that will affect positive public change. Offline you can find her exploring new hiking trails and the wonders of the unplugged world.
Kailey is a Senior who double-majors in English and Adolescent Education. She has been a writer from the time she could hold a pencil and an aspiring teacher since 1st grade. She currently substitute teaches at a preschool and hopes to teach ELA and Creative Writing to high schoolers in the future. Kailey is an fervent reader, runner, and yogi who is happiest when laughing with loved ones or eating something full of sugar!
Allyson is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree at SUNY Oswego, and is a double major in English and Broadcasting with a minor in Spanish. She is the CC of her college's chapter of Her Campus, as well as the Secretary of the Women's Club Ice Hockey team. She hopes to one day become an author of fiction novels and collections of poetry. When she is not writing or on the ice she enjoys spending her time reading, hiking, and watching anime.
Shannon Sutorius is an award winning 23-year-old English major, over 40-time-published author, editor, and former Teaching Assistant currently attending SUNY Oswego who graduates in December of 2021. Shannon is one of the current Campus Correspondents for Her Campus Oswego, previously Senior Editor, and currently writes the Advice Column, "Dear Athena." Shannon has worked with and been published in Great Lake Review, Medium, and Subnivean. Shannon's awards include the Edward Austin Sheldon Award, Pride Alliance's Defender of LGBT+ Rights in Journalism Award, and the Dr. Richard Wheeler Memorial Scholarship. As well, Shannon is an active member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. She currently lives in Oswego and has a dog named Nugget.
Jordyn is a Biology major with a minor in creative writing at SUNY Oswego. She hopes to open a rehabilitation center for wildlife in the future. She's very passionate about animals and spreading awareness for animal rights. She also enjoys drawing and painting.
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